The future disappearance of third-party cookies is complicating the behavioral targeting process. How can advertisers overcome this obstacle, which can greatly reduce the effectiveness of their campaigns?

Julie Walther: More than overcoming an obstacle, both advertisers and publishers need to realize that now is not the time to look for workarounds. The worst mistake they could make is not embracing the new ecosystem that has been taking shape for several years now. The latter has become hostile to the use of third-party cookies. Since the blocking of third-party cookies by Apple on its Safari browser in 2018, Firefox and more recently Google have joined it in this approach; regulations have become stricter regarding the use of personal data (RGPD, CCPA), while user mistrust has led to an increase in adblocking.

How do you get rid of personal data in a market that has relied for so long on the power of its targeting capabilities to thrive?

Julie Walther: The method is simple, and this is also what this change implies: going back to the era of contextual targeting. Today, this is the most feasible solution for effectively targeting users in the upcoming cookie-less era, even though it may seem totally “has-been” to some. Contextual targeting has been relegated to second place as agencies started using cookies for hyper-segmentation and re-targeting.

However, today it could well save us the day when 40% of the cookie bases have already been lost since the implementation of the collection of user consent on the websites to track their browsing via 3rd party cookies. Contextual targeting allows you to give back its letters of nobility to the broadcasting context, a vector of performance. Understanding what a user is reading, i.e. their immediate interest according to their reading context is more than relevant. But contextual Targeting also has its limits. Semantic targeting raises the level of relevance to the next level.

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